The Escape By Maugham William Somerset Maugham is one of the best known English writers of the 20th century. He was not only a novelist, but also a one of the most successful dramatist and short-story writers. Maugham wants the readers to draw their own conclusion about the characters and events described in his novels. His reputation as a novelist is based on the following prominent books: “Of Human Bondage”; “The Moon and Sixpence”; and “The Razor’s Edge”. Though Maugham doesn’t denounce the contemporary social order, he is critical of the morals and the narrow-mindedness.
Realistic portrayal of life, keen character observation, and interesting plots coupled with beautiful, expressive language, a simple, clear, unadored style, place Somerset Maugham on a level with the greatest English writers of the 20th century. In general, Maugham’s novels and short stories could be characterized by great narrative facility, an ironic point of view, cosmopolitan settings, and an astonishing understanding of human nature. His William Somerset Maugham Top of Form Search all of William Somerset Maugham: [pic][pic][pic]Advanced Search Bottom of Form [pic][pic][pic][pic][pic][pic] pic][pic][pic] • Biography • Related Links & Articles • Quizzes • Forum Discussions William Somerset Maugham (1874-1965), English playwright and author wrote Of Human Bondage (1915); [pic][pic]He did not know how wide a country, arid and precipitous, must be crossed before the traveller through life comes to an acceptance of reality. It is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched, for they are full of the truthless ideals which have been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real they are bruised and wounded. -Ch. 29 Initially titled “The Artistic Temperament of Stephen Carey”, Maugham revised an earlier autobiographical novel and it was published to subdued response until Sister Carrie (1900) author Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945) wrote a glowing review of it, calling Maugham a “great artist”. Philip Carey sets out on an unconventional life, struggling in his search for spiritual and artistic freedom. When he becomes immersed in his obsession for Mildred, sacrificing any shred of self-respect he had, it takes much destruction and the ultimate insult to end their sordid affair.
The novel ends with a bitter hint of irony notable in many of Maugham’s short stories and novels. Like his protagonist, Maugham himself would live for many years in search of his calling and a place where he belonged. He courted much controversy through his works including accusations of a thinly-veiled satirical attack on Thomas Hardy in Cakes and Ale (1930). Although he was homosexual, he married once and had numerous affairs with women, many of his female characters mirroring real life lovers.
Maugham travelled far and wide during his life to Europe, North America, the Far East, the South Seas and beyond; he also explored many professions including doctor, spy, and playwright, but it is for his short stories and novels that he is best remembered today. There are many biographical details in his stories and characters; he avoids verbose sentimentality, favouring spare yet vivid, often cynical prose. Maugham saw numerous television and screen adaptations of his works and enjoyed great financial success.While his life was less-than idyllic at times and he raised the ire of many, he made notable and generous contributions to the people and institutions who supported him in his life, including building a new library for King’s College, Canterbury, England. William Somerset Maugham was born on 25 December 1874 at the British Embassy in Paris, France, the fourth son (of seven children total, but only four that survived infancy) born to socialite and writer Edith Mary nee Snell (1840-1882) and Robert Ormond Maugham (1823-1884), a lawyer for the British Embassy.
Living in the suburbs of Paris, Williams’ older brothers Charles, Frederick, and Henry already at boarding school in England, he enjoyed the attentions of his affectionate mother and nurse. He spoke French and their home was often a vibrant salon with many literary and artistic people of the day including Guy de Maupassant and Gustave Dore. But by the age of ten he was orphaned with an income of ? 150 a year after the death of his mother from tuberculosis and his father of cancer. He was sent to live with his Aunt Sophia nee von Scheidlin and Uncle Henry MacDonald Maugham (1828-1897), the Vicar of All Saints, Whitstable, in Kent, England.
William suffered from a stutter and his lack of proficiency in English and loss of his parents could not have helped matters when he was taunted and bullied by classmates. But his aunt and uncle did the best they could in raising such a young boy, themselves never having had children. [pic][pic][pic][pic]Maugham attended King’s School in Canterbury before travelling to Germany at the age of sixteen to study literature and philosophy at Heidelberg University. It was here that he had his first homosexual relationship with John Ellingham Brooks (1863-1929).Back in England, and after a short stint as accountant, he studied medicine at St Thomas’s Hospital in London.
Never having difficulty with his studies, he qualified as Member of the Royal College of Surgeons and licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians, London in 1897 although he never practiced. He was on to his next profession; that same year his first novel Liza of Lambeth was published. As a medical student Maugham had seen first-hand the poor and suffering of the shabby working classes in London’s Lambeth slum area while apprenticing as midwife.The experience would serve him well in writing vivid physical descriptions of his fictional characters, and in realistic portrayals of the seedier aspects of life and its consequences on the human psyche. Liza Kemp, like Emile Zola’s Nana, Stephen Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and George Gissings’ New Grub Street, belongs to that genre of fiction examining the less-than pristine Victorian slum-life of adultery, sickness, and desperate searches for meaningful love.Although Liza achieved mild success at the time, especially because of the controversy its subject matter stirred, Maugham decided to turn full-time to writing. He was off for a year to Spain, spending most of his time in Seville, but by his own words “I amused myself hugely and wrote a bad novel. “–from “A Fragment of Autobiography”, The Magician (1908).
The Land of The Blessed Virgin; Sketches and Impressions in Andalusia was published in 1905. Other works published around this time include The Hero (1901), Mrs.Craddock (1902), The Merry-Go-Round (1904), The Explorer (1907), Moon and Sixpence (1919), The Trembling of a Leaf (1921), and The Painted Veil (1925). Back in London, Maugham continued to write, immersing himself in the theatre and literary world, working on novels and plays, some inspired by the style of Oscar Wilde whose sensational trial and ensuing criminal charges surrounding his homosexuality surely left an impact on Maugham, who never publicly wrote of his own orientation.His first drama, A Man of Honour (1903) earned him notice with London’s intelligentsia; he was soon attending parties and salons, but still the bohemian, not being able to afford even cab fare with his earnings, his restlessness and awareness of his current limitations grew and he was again looking beyond the present to future prospects for himself. To escape the rut he moved to Paris for a time and from his Left Bank rooms became acquainted with the art world. But still it was not enough, and returning to London Maugham found renewed interest in his plays.
Suddenly he was earning hundreds of pounds a week.Among his almost two-dozens plays are Lady Frederick (1907), Jack Straw (1912), The Unknown (1920), The Circle (1921), Our Betters (1923), The Constant Wife (1927) and Sheppey (1933). When World War I broke out Maugham volunteered with the American Volunteer Motor Ambulance Corps.
He met American Gerald Haxton (1892-1944) while in France, and the two fell in love; Haxton was devoted companion and secretary to Maugham until his death. While in America Maugham met the wife of Sir Henry Wellcome, Gwendolyn Maude Syrie Barnardo (1879-1955) with whom he had a daughter Elizabeth Mary Maugham “Liza” (1915-1981).They married in 1917 despite his relationship with Haxton, and often spent time apart in various pursuits, Syrie being a noted interior decorator and Maugham travelling and writing. They were divorced in 1929. During World War II Maugham worked for a time in Switzerland and Russia as an agent of the British Intelligence Service which inspired Ashenden: Or, the British Agent (1928). After having spent so much time there, Maugham decided to move permanently to the French Riviera in 1928. He bought the Villa Mauresque at Cap Ferrat and continued to entertain guests and write.
In his later years he wrote numerous essays and short stories, further publications including Cakes and Ale (1930), The Narrow Corner (1932), Don Fernando (1935), The Summing Up (1938), Up At The Villa (1941), The Razor’s Edge (1944), Then And Now (1946), Creatures of Circumstance (1947), Catalina (1948), and The Art of Fiction: An Introduction to Ten Novels and Their Authors (1955). After the death of Haxton, Alan Searle (1905-1985) became Maugham’s lover and secretary; he assisted him in writing Looking Back (1962) the authorship of which came into dispute by many.In 1947 Maugham instituted the Somerset Maugham Award for the encouragement and support of British writers under the age of thirty-five. He himself received many honours during his lifetime including the Queen’s Companion of Honour (1954); Fellow of the Library of Congress, Washington, DC, U. S. A.
; an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Toulouse, France; and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. William Somerset Maugham died in Nice, France on 16 December 1965. His ashes were interred in Galpin’s garden of King’s College, Canterbury, England.
“Life isn’t long enough for love and art. –The Moon and Sixpence, Ch. 21 Biography written by C. D. Merriman for Jalic Inc. Copyright Jalic Inc. 2008.
All Rights Reserved. The above biography is copyrighted. Do not republish it without permission.
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Recent Forum Posts on William Somerset Maugham The Moon and Sixpence – Finished Finished “The Moon and Sixpence” (TMS) by William Somerset Maugham This was my first foray into the writing of Maugham, a choice driven primarily by Emil Miller’s endorsement of Maugham and TMS in particular through his various postings. The story mixes biography, autobiography and fiction, following the life of Charles Strickland, a London stockbroker who callously abandons his family acting on impulse to pursue a latent passion to paint that eventually leads him to the south Pacific islands of Tahiti.The story parallels the life of painter Paul Gauguin and in some respects, the travels of Maugham himself during his travels through the South Pacific (1916 – 1917). Maugham employs the use of frame narrative to tell the story of Strickland. I found Maugham’s character and situational descriptions to be superb. I couldn’t help draw comparisons to Joseph Conrad’s writing and use of narration such as that found in Heart of Darkness.For example this excerpt from TMS: “Tahiti is a lofty green island, with deep folds of a darker green, in which you divine silent valleys; there is mystery in their somber depths, down which murmur and plash cool streams, and you feel that in those umbrageous places life from immemorial times has been according to immemorial ways” To this Conrad excerpt from Heart of Darkness: “ The edge of a colossal jungle, so dark-green as to be almost black, fringed with white surf, ran straight, like a ruled line, far, far away along a blue sea whose glitter was blurred by a creeping mist.The sun was fierce, the land seemed to glisten and drip with steam.
“ Being the incurable class clown, I tend to seek out wit if any is to be found: “ Her arms were like legs of mutton, her breasts like giant cabbages; her face, broad and fleshy, gave you an impression of almost indecent nakedness, and vast chin succeeded to vast chin. I do not know how many of them there were. They fell away voluminously into the capaciousness of her bosom. “ All in all, fine read.I enjoyed it very much and look forward to reading other books by Maugham, the next being either “Razor’s Edge” or “Of Human Bondage” a tough decision, like one who must decide between the moon or the sixpence lying at their feet. “ I know very little about painting, and I wander along trails that others have blazed for me. At a time I had the greatest admiration for the impressionists. I longed to possess a Sisley and a Degas, and I worshipped Manet.
His “Olympia” seemed to me the greatest picture of modern times, and “Le Dejeuner sur I’Herbe” moved me profoundly.These works seemed to me the last word in painting. ” .
Posted By Gilliatt Gurgle at Mon 30 May 2011, 12:50 PM in Maugham, Somerset || 0 Replies [pic] Somerset Maugham – Opinions? I am thinking about reading him next. What do you think of him? I read on Wikipedia that he was quoted for saying “I am in the front row of second-raters” or something like that. While it proves him a modest man, it makes me a bit skeptical nonetheless. Would you consider him a second-rater? Or is that just an unfortunate allegation owing to his popularity at the time?He also said of himself that his writing “lacks a lyrical quality” (again from Wikipedia) Is he not such a great hand at prose? Thanks in advance, and I’d welcome any recommendations for what to read by him (looking for novels, not short stories). Posted By ktm5124 at Wed 28 Jul 2010, 12:22 AM in Maugham, Somerset || 14 Replies [pic] The Painted Veil I am currently reading this and as a great admirer of the film adaptation, I was more than a little curious as to how the courtship (or lack thereof) of Kitty and Walter would be described.I have not been disappointed by the detailed descriptions of their acquaintance and so far, I am quite impressed by the strong characterisation of Kitty and in particular Walter Fane.
By the time he addressed her affair with Mr. Townsend I felt quite sorry for the poor man – the way he expressed his having to dumb himself down so she would not be bored with him. I’ll quote the speech so you know what I mean: “I had no illusions about you,” he said.
“I knew you were silly and frivolous and empty-headed. But I loved you. I knew that your aims and ideals were vulgar.But I loved you. I knew that you were second-rate.
But I loved you. It’s comic when I think how hard I tried to be amused by the things that amused you and how anxious I was to hide from you that I wasn’t ignorant and vulgar and scandal-mongering and stupid. I knew how frightened you were of intelligence and I did everything I could to make you think me as big a fool as the rest of the men you knew. I knew that you’d only married me for convenience. I loved you so much, I didn’t care. Most people, as far as I can see, when they’re in love with some one and the love sn’t returned feel that they have a grievance.
They grow angry and bitter. I wasn’t like that. I never expected you to love me, I didn’t see any reason that you should, I never thought myself very lovable.
I was thankful to be allowed to love you and I was enraptured when every now and then I thought you were pleased with me or when I noticed in your eyes a gleam of good-natured affection. I tried not to bore you with my love, I knew I couldn’t afford to do that and I was always on the lookout for the first sign that you were impatient with my affection.What most husbands expect as a right I was prepared to receive as a favour. ” He struck me as a most sensitive and intelligent character and it angered me that Kitty should treat him with such contempt! She surely did not deserve him and I wish that Walter had divorced her and found himself a woman more worthy of his attentions. Nevertheless, I will continue reading to see how the story unfolds. I have already read that the film deviates from the novel so I won’t expect a sudden burst of affection from her side.
Posted By Dorian Gray at Mon 14 Dec 2009, 2:06 PM in Maugham, Somerset || 0 Replies [pic] ynopsis and opinion on Of Human Bondage Philip is physicially bound by the deformity of his club foot. He is mentally bound by intermittant changing of professions he tries and then does not follow through with. He is also financially and emotionally bound by Mildred and her baby.
He is emotionally bound by all the relationships he goes through. In the time Philip is doing his accounting apprenticeship he finds the work troublesome and boring. He feels the need for social interaction, although he does not know that is what he is looking for.In Paris, you see many people who are the exact opposite of Philip. They have a bohemian air. During this time, he gets the social interaction that he craves. They do what they like, when they like, and whome they like it with. Philip gets a taste of what it is like to be free in Paris.
He gets to see how people that are at peace with themselves live and act. But the Parisian freedom is not the kind of freedom Philip craves. While trying to do his best as an art student, it becomes plain to Philip that he does not have the required talent to make a living as an artist.He also discoveres he does not have the heart for it, nor does he want to be potentially futher financially bound due to money that is never a sure thing. This is time in which he meets Cronshaw, who later becomes his friend and mentor. It is Cronshaw who teaches Philip that vice and virtue have no meaning and that one should be the center or one’s universe; and that Philip should not care so much of what others think and feel about him. Cronshaw teaches Philip how to be his own man, how and why to be selfish (because humanity is selfish).
It is Cronshaw that, in a sense, mentally frees Philip. When Philip decides to go to medical school, he does it with the ambition of going to far off places to see and explore the world. This is a physical and mental sense of freedom for Philip. When Philip’s financial security is no longer enough to keep him a float he must submit to a factory job. Mildred is the source of financial troubles. He supports her because he feels bound to the her and the baby, unfortunatly, Mildred does not feel bound to him in the same way.In this factory job, Philip is made to only give directions to customers who wish to purchase clothing and in this way Philip is physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially bound to a high degree.
Physically, due to the fact that he is only allowed to stand in a specified spot and needs only to say either one or two phrases over and over to different customers. Mentally, because his brain is not being challenged as it was before; not to mention the monotony of the day(s). Financially, because the factory takes money out of his pay per week for taxes or room and board.He cannot ever seem to make enough to get him out of this hole. Emotionally, because he feels to low to emerse in coversations with his friends and also because of the fact that Mildred inadvertantly put him there. The death of his uncle allows him to finish his medical education through money that was left to him. Philip find that through dealing with people he is at ease.
He finds that he can converse with them and the patients find that he does not consider himself to be above them, this allows Philip a certain freedom of the soul.Philip finishes his first appointment and is offered a partnership. This he declines because he wants to visit far away places.
He then falls in love with Sally soon after. Sally discovers that she might be pregnant soon after returing to the city. Philil upon hearing the news does not know what to think or do as this spoils his plans for his solitary future. He then develops feelings of attatchment toward Sally and his unborn baby. It is at this time that he makes the decision not to travel and practice medicine abroud. He chooses instead to settle and make a family with Sally.During this time Philip does not loose his sense of freedom, despite the fact that this situation is drastically the same as the one with Mildred.
Philip retains his sense of freedom because he does not feel pressure from Sally to support her and a child. Philip then discovers that he can not imagine life without Sally and soon after proposes. It is here that he is allowed to be free with the person(s) he wants to be free with for the rest of his life.
Mildred: Mildred is bound by society. The only way she knows she can get what she wants is through the exploitation of herself and men.Mildred is also bound by the upbringing of her child. The Vicar: The vicar is bound by his religion. We see this in the fact that he can not be at peace and ready to die without the last rights read to him.
This is a common affliction for many religious peoplej, but it also shows how many people are bound by their faith. Also in the fact that his religion determines the way in which manner everything is done around the house. He does not allow his wife or his nephew to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. FINAL OPINION: Of Human Bondage brings up a lot of questions about live, love, and death.There are individual situations which can be expanded upon. In each of the phases Philip engages in throughout his life are a number of situations in which each of us can relate to, either as Philip or another person in the social drama and interaction.
A great many times, it seems as if there are all these other strings pulling Philip in different directions. I got frustrated at times with his character because he can’t seem to make up his mind on what to do with his life, and also not to have the added constant burden for lack of money.Yes, it is quite irksome to see somone written as just coming into some money because their mother just died and then to see them pitter it away on trivial things and slutty women. Not to mention, he has the nerve to groan and complain when his girl goes off with some other guy and he has no money to support himself.
I don’t think he used the money that was left to him properly. I know that kind of action and negligence would have to held in today’s standards, unless you are one those people who have never had to work for anything anyway. However, I did enjoy the book. It was beautifully written.I am glad because I have finally gotten to write something about it, which portray my personal views on the literature. Posted By Lovelee at Thu 30 Jul 2009, 1:51 PM in Maugham, Somerset || 0 Replies [pic] Regarding his orientation According to the biographical information on the site: “Although he was homosexual, he married once and had numerous affairs with women, many of his female characters mirroring real life lovers. ” Wouldn’t that by definition make him bisexual? Posted By Mr.
Dark at Mon 18 May 2009, 10:41 AM in Maugham, Somerset || 6 Replies [pic] The luncheon The luncheon”, a short story of Somerset Maughan, which seems very simple at first sight. But maybe because it is too simple, it is so difficult to analyze. What is the implication of this story? Is there any special meaning? i am stuck with this work.
Can anyone help me to analyze this? what do i have to emphasize on this? Do you have any document relating to this? Posted By sarah_no17 at Wed 22 Apr 2009, 10:51 AM in Maugham, Somerset || 0 Replies [pic] A man marries to have a home, (… ) A man marries to have a home, but also because he doesn’t want to be bothered with sex and all that sort of thing.
S. Maugham) I don’t understand what the last clause means. Can you help me? come on just any idea… was it because he was gay? or because he didn’t want to be bothered as regards his sexuality? help me plz!!!!! Posted By Regina61285 at Tue 17 Feb 2009, 4:37 PM in Maugham, Somerset || 4 Replies [pic] A man marries to have a home,but also because he doesn’t want to be bothered with sex A man marries to have a home, but also because he doesn’t want to be bothered with sex and all that sort of thing. I don’t understand what the last clause means.
Can you help me? :blush: come on just any idea… as it because he was gay? or because he didn’t want to be bothered as regards his sexuality? help me plz!!!!! Posted By Regina61285 at Thu 12 Feb 2009, 7:53 AM in Maugham, Somerset || 1 Reply [pic] “What mean and cruel things men can do for the love of God” (W. Somerset Maugham) “What mean and cruel things men can do for the love of God” (W. Somerset Maugham) Ironically, throughout history, many things that were done in the name of God would be abhorrent to Him; for example, in the bible it is said ‘thou shalt not kill’ but more people have been killed in the name of God than for any other reason.Absurdly, a great number of people and societies have committed heinous crimes like torturing and killing by using in justification the Holy name of God, who actually must be related to love, caring, mercy, comprehension, tolerance and forgiveness.
Enigmatically, fanatics and fundamentalists have repeatedly been sowing panic, terror, pain and death in the world in the name of God. “The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence his soul hates. ” (Psalms 11:5) Admittedly, some people claim that punishing sinful people and societies is the way of cleaning the world from the impiousness.Besides, in the Holy Scriptures it is written in several passages of the Old Testament different kind of God’s punishment for the heathen people, so it’s not very much mistaken to follow Scriptures blindly to the letter in order to please God. However, if we were to kill every sinful person, the world would be empty of human beings at all. No one is pure enough to judge a soul; what is more, how much pure can somebody be while his/her hands are blood-stained? The Old Testament was written by men of other times, when the beliefs were different and quite more primitive as well as their sense of justice.Additionally, there was a change in the New Testament from the avenging God to a loving and caring Father who does justice taking into account our hearts’ intentions. “Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts.
” (Proverbs 21:2)”Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts… ” (1Corinthians 4:5) To begin with, it is unbelievable the atrocious cruelty men are able to achieve while naming God as their Lord and Master.
Since very old times, Heaven was the common goal of everybody but the means to such goal were extremely odd and monstrous. A very well known phrase from Crusades’ time was “To kill an infidel is not murder. It’s the path to Heaven” is enough evidence of how crooked the view of religion and of God’s true will was. The Holy war had as a result many corpses floating in the river where Jesus was baptized, so where is the logic in this view of holiness? Bloody-mindedness, barbarity, outrage and inhumanity were what stood out in this war from both sides.Like the Crusades, the Inquisition was another black stain in the Catholic’s history, when people were accused of any kind of sin and tortured till they confessed to then be sentenced to death. Moreover, the incredible imagination and developed technology applied to create torture instruments, which were able to cause a lot of pain without taking the prisoner’s life, was appalling, repellent and evil. In addition, the torturers were monks and priests, whose aim was to clean the world from infidels and paganism, but they should have been preaching by words and actions exactly the opposite of what they were doing.
In the present days, the Lord’s name is still being used for atrocious crimes against life and peace. The unforgettable the Twin Tower event is a remaining of how sickly a Love image can be distorted to a terrorist demonstration of power. The bloodshed and sorrowful victims’ families is far away from God’s commandments which most important are “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind” and “love others as much as you love yourself.
” Furthermore, wars and violence still exist in the Middle East, Jews against Muslims is a constant problem, which involve killing of men, women and children indifferently.Where is the love, the mercy and the brotherhood? In conclusion, who are we to name God as the reason for our crimes? He is love, peace, fraternity; we cannot use His name even to swear, but it has been used as an excuse to take somebody’s life, to cause affliction, horror and despair. It’s not difficult to assume that hate and evilness are behind all this but not God. His name has being badly used for cold- hearted people who do not understand the true image of God. Thus, fanatics and fundamentalists also have to understand they are not pure enough to judge somebody else’s soul. “You hypocrite!First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you will see clearly enough to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. ” Matthew 7:5 Posted By Regina61285 at Tue 10 Feb 2009, 7:19 PM in Maugham, Somerset || 0 Replies [pic] “Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one’s mind. ” “Like all weak men he laid an exaggerated stress on not changing one’s mind.
” (Of human bondage; S. Maugham) The world was definitely square and nobody would say the opposite till an adventurous man dare to prove the world was actually round. Therefore, there is no absolute truth. Truth elongs to the one who can prove it or at least defend it in a reasonable and logical way with no necessity of violence; thus, the truth can belong to more than one person and even it can happen that there is more than just one truth. As regards human as a race with the ability to reason, there are two kinds of people, the wise men and the others: wise men listen while the others talk, and the wise men ask while the others judge.
In this way, time shouldn’t be wasted in weak minded people, for they are unable to refute nor to defend a point of view but just to stupidly fix to the only thing they think they know. Do not give your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces. ” Admittedly, it’s believed that there are certain things as values that can’t be changed, for they are the very root of humanity.
The norms that rule society must be defended as well as our faith, whichever we have, from ideologies that incite to rebellion, chaos and/or disorder, which several times is quite profitable for only a few. Moreover, if we let others change our mind, we may look weak especially if we are some kind of leaders.Nevertheless, a number of times it was demonstrated that not till somebody questioned a fact that we realized we were wrong or if not, we know our culture or faith better by being able to explain it. what do you think?????? 💡 Posted By Regina61285 at Fri 6 Feb 2009, 6:38 AM in Maugham, Somerset || 2 Replies [pic] Post a New Comment/Question on Maugham [pic][pic][pic] • Fiction o Liza of Lambeth o Moon and Sixpence o Of Human Bondage o The Explorer o The Hero o The Land of The Blessed Virgin o The Magician o The Trembling of a Leaf [pic][pic] W(illiam) Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) | | | |British novelist, playwright, short-story writer, highest paid author in the world in the 1930s. In spite of | |his popularity and international fame, Maugham did not receive critical attention for his fiction in Britain.
| |Expressing his frustration with the situation Maugham wrote in his autobiography THE SUMMING UP (1938), that | |he stood “in the very first row of the second-raters”.Maugham’s skill in handling plot has been compared | |with the manner of Guy de Maupassant. His stories are told in clear, economical style with cynical or | |resigned undertone. | |”I have never pretended to be anything but a story teller. It has amused me to tell stories and I have told a| |great many. It is a misfortune for me that the telling of a story just for the sake of the story is not an | |activity that is in favor with the intelligentsia. In endeavor to bear my misfortunes with fortitude.
(from | |Creatures of Circumstance, 1947) | |William Somerset Maugham was born in Paris, the sixth and youngest son of the solicitor to the British | |embassy. Maugham learned French as his native tongue. At the age of 10, Maugham was orphaned and sent to | |England to live with his uncle, the Reverend Henry MacDonald Maugham. Educated at King’s School, Canterbury, | |where he developed a stammer that he never outgrew, and Heidelberg University, Maugham then studied six years| |medicine in London.He qualified in 1897 as doctor from St. Thomas’ medical school, but abandoned medicine | |after the success of his first novels and plays. | |Maugham lived in Paris for ten years as a struggling young author.
In 1897 appeared his first novel, LIZA OF | |LAMBETH, which drew on his experiences of attending women in childbirth. Maugham named his daughter and only | |child, Elizabeth ‘Liza’ Mary Maugham, after the title character. His first play, A MAN OF HONOUR, was | |produced in 1903. Four of his dramas ran simultaneously in London in 1904. Maugham’s breakthrough novel was | |the emi-autobiographical OF HUMAN BONDAGE (1915), which is usually considered his outstanding achievement. | |The story follows the childhood, youth, and early manhood of Philip Carey, who is born with a clubfoot.
| |Philip never knew his father and his mother only for a brief space. He is raised by a religious aunt and | |uncle, but the real process of his education, after the end of an unsatisfactory social life, begins in | |Heidelberg. Philip goes to Paris to study art, and at the age of thirty he qualifies as a doctor. Finally he | |marries Sally Athelny, a normal, healthy, happy girl. |With the outbreak of WW I, Maugham volunteered for the Red Cross, and was stationed in France for a period. | |There he met Gerald Haxton (1892-1944), an American, who became his companion.
Disguising himself as a | |reporter, Maugham served as an espionage agent for British Secret Intelligence Service in Russia in 1916-17, | |but his stuttering and poor health hindered his career in this field. In 1917 he married Syrie Barnardo | |Wellcome, an interior decorator; they were divored in 1927-8. On his return from Russia, he spent a year in a| |sanatorium in Scotland.Maugham then set off with Haxton on a series of travels to eastern Asia, the Pacific | |Islands, and Mexico. In many novels the surroundings also are international. Maugham’s most famous story, | |which became the play RAIN and was made into several movies, was inspired by a missionary and prostitute | |among his fellow passengers on a trip to Pago Pago. | |THE MOON AND THE SIXPENCE (1919) was the story of Charles Strickland (or actually Paul Gauguin), an artist, | |whose rejection of western civilization led to his departure for Tahiti.
There he is blinded by leprosy but | |still continues painting. Maugham reused elements of his Pacific diaries in TREMBLING OF A LEAF (1921), which| |included the story ‘Rain,’ adapted to the stage by John Colton and Clemence Randolph in 1922. | |In 1928 Maugham settled in Cape Ferrat in France. His plays, including THE CIRCLE (1921), a satire of social | |life, OUR BETTERS (1923), about Americans in Europe, and THE CONSTANT WIFE (1927), about a wife who takes | |revenge on her unfaithful husband, were performed in Europe and in the United States.During World War II | |Maugham lived in Hollywood, where he worked on the screen adaptation of his novel RAZORS EDGE (1944). “This | |book consists of my recollections of a man with whom I was thrown into close contact only at long intervals, | |and I have little knowledge of what happened to him in between,” Maugham said in the beginning of the story. | |”I have invented nothing.
” Maugham tells of a young American veteran who moves through superbly described | |settings: Italy, London, the Riviera, Montparnasse.He seeks in the end relief in India from the horrors of | |war and gains a sense of being at one with the Absolute, through the Indian philosophical system known as | |Vedanta. Maugham himself had in 1938 visited India, where fainted in an ashram, and met a holy man named | |Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi. | |As an agent and writer Maugham was a link in the long tradition from Christopher Marlowe, Ben Johnson and | |Daniel Defoe to the modern day writers Graham Greene, John Le Carre, John Dickson Carr, Alec Waugh and Ted | |Allbeury, who all have worked for the secret service.It is said that the modern spy story began with | |Maugham’s ASHENDEN: OR THE BRITISH AGENT (1928), a collection of six short stories set in Switzerland, | |France, Russia, and Italy. It was partly based on the author’s own experiences.
The protagonist, Ashenden, | |appeared also in CAKES AND ALE (1930) and The Moon and the Sixpence. Alfred Hitchcock used in Secret Agent | |(1936) specifically the stories ‘The Traitor’ and ‘The Hairless Mexican’. In the film, set in Switzerland, an| |agents kill a wrong man and then goes after the right one.A chocolate factory is used by the crooks’ as a | |headquarters.
| |Maugham believed that there is a true harmony in the contradictions of mankind and that the normal is in | |reality the abnormal. “The ordinary is the writer’s richest field,” he stated in THE SUMMING UP (1938), which| |also has been used as a guidebook for creative writing. In the satirical short story ‘The Ant and the | |Grasshopper’ Maigham juxtaposed two brothers, the unscrupulous and carefree Tom and the hardworking, | |respectable George, who expects that Tom would end in the gutter.However, Tom marries a rich old woman, she | |dies and leaves him a fortune. “I burst into a shout of laughter as I looked at George’s wrathful face. I | |rolled in my chair, I very nearly fell in the floor. George never forgave me. But Tom often asks me to | |excellent dinners in his charming house in Mayfair, and he occasionally borrows a trifle from me, that is | |merely from force of habit.
” | |Although Maugham became world famous he was never knighted.His relationship with Gerald Haxton, his | |secretary, prompted speculations. After Haxton’s death, he found a new companion, Alan Searle, and wanted to | |adopt him as his son. While in Capri, Maugham enjoyed the company of the homosexual and lesbian colony there. | |With the homosexual esthete John Ellingham Brooks, and Edward Frederic Benson he purchased shares of the | |Villa Cercole. Maugham’s closest woman friend was Barbara Nash Back, the wife of Dr. Ivor Back, who was left | |penniless in 1951 after the death of her husband.
In the 1960s, Maugham began to suffer from demantia.To | |keep his personal life hidden, Maugham burned much of his correspondence. His efforts to disgrace his wife in| |LOOKING BACK (1962) caused a deep rift between the author and his daughter Liza. Maugham died in Nice on | |December 16, 1965. It is said that as he lay dying he asked Sir Alfred Ayer visit him and reassure him that | |there was no life after death. | |A number of Maugham’s short stories have been filmed.
Quartet (1948) consists of four stories introduced by | |the author ? ‘The Facts of Life’, ‘The Alien Corn’, ‘The Kite’, and ‘The Colonel’s Lady. In ‘The Kite’ the | |protagonist, Herbert, starts to fly kites with his parents in childhood. After marriage Herbert continues his| |hobby, although his wife Betty considers it childish. When Herbert wants to buy a new kite, Betty packs his | |bag and Herbert returns to his parents’ house; Betty smashes the kite. The magistrate orders him to pay Betty| |alimony, twenty-five shillings a week, but Herbert refuses to obey the order and chooses the prison. “It may | |be that in some queer way he identifies himself with the kite flying so free and so high above him, and it’s | |as it were an escape from the monotony of life.It may be that in some dim, confused way it represents an | |ideal of freedom and adventure, And you know, when a man once gets bitten with the virus of the ideal not all| |the King’s doctors and not all the King’s surgeons can rid him of it.
” | |After the 1930s Maugham’s reputation abroad was greater than in England. Maugham once said, “Most people | |cannot see anything, but I can se what is in front of my nose with extreme clearness; the greatest writers | |can see through a brick wall. My vision is not so penetrating.
His literary experiences Maugham collected in| |The Summing Up, which has been used as a guidebook for creative writing. | |Interest in Maugham revived again in his 80th birthday, which he celebrated by the special republication of | |Cakes and Ale, a novel satirizing London literary circles and ‘Grand Old Men’. Maugham portrayed himself as | |Ashenden, Thomas Hardy was Driffield, and Hugh Walpole was Kear. Barbara Belford listed in Violet: The Story | |of the Irrepressible Violet Hunt and Her Circle of Lovers and Friends (1990) Maugham among the lovers of | |Violet Hunt, along with such names as H.G. Wells and Ford Madox Ford.
The novelist Hugh Walpole portrayed | |Maugham as the arrogant pessimist in John Cornelius (1937), he appeared as John-Blair-Kennedy in Noel | |Coward’s South Sea Bubble (1956), Leverson Hurle in Gin and Bitters by A Riposte, the homosexual novelist in | |Noel Coward’s Point Valaine (1935), Kenneth Marchal Toomey in Anthony Burgess Earthly Powers (1980), Willie | |Tower in S. N. Behrman’s Jane (1946), and Gilbert Hereford Vaughn in Ada Leverson’s The Limit (1911). | |For further reading: Somerset Maugham: A Guide by L.
Brander (1963); Maugham: a Biography by Ted Morgan | |(1980); The Critical Heritage, ed. by J. Whitehead (1987); Willie: The Life of W. Somerset Maugham by Robert | |Calder (1990); The Dramatic Comedy of Somerset Maugham by R. E.
Barnes (1990); W. Somerset Maugham by S. W. | |Archer (1993); An Appointment With Somerset Maugham and Other Literary Encounters by Richard Hauer Costa | |(1993); Orienting Masculinity, Orienting Nation: W. Somerset Maugham’s Exotic Fiction by Philip Holden | |(1996); A William Somerset Maugham Encyclopedia by Samuel J.Rogal (1997); The Secret Lives of Somerset | |Maugham by Selina Hastings (2010) – Other film adaptations: Vessel of Wrath (1938), dir. by Erich Pommer; | |Quartet (1948), dir. by Smart & French & Crabtree & Annakin; Trio (1959), dir.
by French and Annakin; Encore | |(1951), dir. by Jackson & Pelissier & French; The Beachcomber (1954), dir. by Muriel Box; The Seventh Sin | |(1957), dir. by Ronald Neame – See also: Eric Ambler | |Selected works: |LIZA OF LAMBETH, 1897 | |ORIENTATIONS, 1899 | |MRS. CRADDOCK, 1902 – Rouva Craddock (suom. Sirpa Kauppinen, 1957) | |A MAN OF HONOUR, 1903 | |THE BISHOP’S APRON, 1906 | |THE MAGICIAN, 1908 – film 1926, prod.Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), dir. Rex Ingram, starring Alice Terry, Paul | |Wegener, Ivan Petrovich (the central character, lightly disguised, is the occultist Aleister Crowley) | |PENELOPE, 1909 | |LADY FREDERICK, 1912 – film 1963 (TV play), prod.
Kleine Komodie Munchen, dir. Hans Quest, starring Hilde | |Krahl, Trude Hesterberg, Karl Schonbock, Christian Wolff | |JACK STRAW, 1912 – film 1920, dir. rod. Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, William C. de Mille, starring | |Robert Warwick | |MRS DOT, 1912 | |OF HUMAN BONDAGE, 1915 – Elaman kahle (suom. Sirpa Kauppinen, 1958) – films: 1934, prod.
RKO Radio Pictures, | |dir. by John Cromwell, starring Bette Davis, Leslie Howard, Frances Dee, Kay Johnson; 1946, prod.Warner | |Bros. Pictures, dir. by Edmund Gouldig, starring Paul Henreid, Eleanor Parker; 1964, dir.
by Ken Hughes, | |starring Kim Novak, Laurence Harvey, Robert Morley | |THE MOON AND SIXPENCE, 1919 – Kuu ja kupariraha (suom. Liisa Johansson, 1949) – films: TV film 1959, prod. | |National Broadcasting Company (NBC), dir. Robert Mulligan, starring Laurence Olivier, Jessica Tandy, | |Geraldine Fitzgerald, Hume Cronyn; 1943, dir. y Albert Lewin, starring George Sanders, Herbert Marshall, | |Doris Dudley | |THE CIRCLE, 1921 – Ympyra (suom. ) – films: 1925, prod. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), dir.
by Frank Borzage; | |Strictly Unconventional (1930), prod, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), dir. David Burton; Der Kreis (1964, TV | |prod. ), dir.
Karl John, Heribert Wenk | |SADIE THOMPSON, 1921 – films: 1928, prod. Gloria Swanson Pictures, dir. by Raoul Walsh, starring Gloria | |Swanson, Lionel Barrymore; Rain (1932), prod.Feature Productions, dir. by Lewis Milestone, starring Joan | |Crawford, Walter Huston; Dirty Gertie from Harlem, U. S. A.
(1946), prod. Sack Amusement Enterprises, dir. | |Spencer Williams; Miss Sadie Thompson (1953), dir. by Curtis Bernhardt, starring Rita Hayworth, Mel Ferrer, | |Aldo Ray | |THE TREMBLING OF A LEAF, 1921 – Varajava lehti (suom.
Sirppa Kauppinen, 1959) | |EAST OF SUEZ, 1922 – film: 1925, prod. Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, dir. y Raoul Walsh, starring Pola | |Negri | |ON CHINESE SCREEN, 1922 | |OUR BETTERS, 1923 – film 1933, prod.
RKO Radio Pictures, dir. by George Cukor, starring Constance Bennett, | |Violet Kemble Cooper, Phoebe Foster | |THE PAINTED VEIL, 1925 – Kirjava huntu (suom. Helvi Vasara, 1947) – films: 1934, dir. by Richard Boleslawski,| |starring Greta Garbo and Herbert Marshall; The Seventh Sin (1957), dir.Ronald Neame, starring Eleanor | |Parker, Jean-Pierre Aumont, George Sanders; 2006, dir. by John Curran, starring Naomi Watts, Edward Norton, | |Liev Schreiber | |THE CONSTANT WIFE, 1925 – films: Charming Sinners (1929), dir. Robert Milton, starring Ruth Chatterton, Clive| |Brook, Mary Nolan, William Powell; Finden sie, dass Constanze sich richtig verhalt? (1962), dir. Tom Pevsner,| |starring Lilli Palmer, Peter van Eyck, Carlos Thompson; Eine Konsequente Frau (1971, TV comedy), prod.
|Saarlandischer Rundfunk (SR), dir. Wolfgang Liebeneiner | |THE CASUARINA TREE, 1926 | |THE LETTER, 1927 – Kirje (suom. Kristiina Kivivuori, 1972) – films: 1929, prod.
Paramount Pictures, dir. Jean| |de Limur, starring Jeanne Eagels; La donna bianca (1930), prod. Paramount Pictures, dir. Jack Salvatori; La | |Lettre (1930), prod. Les Studios Paramount, dir. Louis Mercanton; Weib im Dschungel (1931), prod. Les Studios| |Paramount, dir.Dimitri Buchowetzki; La Carta (1931), prod.
Paramount Pictures, dir. Adelqui Migliar, | |starring Carmen Larrabeiti, Carlos Diaz de Mendoza; 1940, prod. Warner Bros. Pictures, dir. by William Wyler,| |starring Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall; TV film 1982, prod. Hajeno Productions, dir.
John Erman, starring Lee| |Remick, Ronald Pickup, Jack Thompson, Ian McShane | |THE SACRED FLAME, 1928 – films: 1929, prod. Warner Bros. Pictures, dir. Archie Mayo; La Llama sagrada (1931),| |prod.Warner Bros. Pictures, dir. William C. McGann, Guillermo Prieto Yeme; Die Heilige Flamme (1931), prod.
| |Warner Bros. Pictures, dir. William Dieterle, Berthold Viertel; The Right to Live (1935), prod. Warner Bros.
| |Pictures, dir. by William Keighley, starring Josephine Hutchinson, George Brent, Colin Clive | |ASHENDEN: OR THE BRITISH AGENT, 1928 – Salainen asiamies (suom. Kristiina Kivivuori, 1958) – films: Secret | |Agent (1936), based on the ‘The Traitor’ and ‘The Hairless Mexican’, and the play by Campbell Dixon, dir. y | |Alfred Hitchcock, starring John Gielgud, Madeleine Carroll, Peter Lorre, Robert Young, Percy Marmont; TV | |mini-series 1991, prod.
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), dir. Christopher Morahan, starring Alex | |Jennings, Joss Ackland, Ian Bannen, Harriet Walter | |THE BREADWINNER, 1930 | |CAKES AND ALE, 1930 – Elamalta se maistui (suom. Kristiina Kivivuori, 1955) – TV series 1974, prod.British | |Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), starring Michael Hordern, Judy Cornwell, Mike Pratt, Lynn Farleigh, Barbara | |Atkinson | |FIRST PERSON SINGULAR, 1931 | |COLLECTED PLAYS, 1931-34 | |THE NARROW CORNER, 1932 – Ahtaan asuinsijat (suom. J. A. Hollo, 1950) – film 1933, prod.Warner Bros.
| |Pictures, dir. Alfred E. Green, starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr. , Patricia Ellis, Ralph Bellamy | |FOR SERVICES RENTED, 1932 | |COLLECTED PLAYS, 1933 | |SHEPPEY: A PLAY IN THREE ACTS, 1933 – Paavoitto (suom. ) | |AH KING, 1933 | |COSMOPOLITANS, 1936 – Herra Kaikkitietava (suom.Martta Eskelinen, 1967) | |THE THEATRE, 1937 – Nayttelijatar (suom.
J. A. Hollo, 1951) – films: Bezaubernde Julia (1960, TV play), prod. | |Sudwestfunk (SWF), dir. Wilm ten Haaf; Julia, Du bist zauberhaft (1962), dir. Alfred Weidenmann, starring | |Lilli Palmer, Charles Boyer,Jean Sorel; Teatris (1978), dir.
Janis Streics; Poniro thilyko… katergara | |gynaika! (1980), prod.
Karagiannis-Karatzopoulos, dir. Kostas Karagiannis; Adorable Julia (1988, TV drama), | |dir. Yves-Andre Hubert; Being Julia (2004), dir. y Istvan Szabo, starring Annette Bening, Jeremy Irons, | |Shaun Evans | |THE SUMMING UP, 1938 /LI; | |CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY, 1939 – film: 1944, prod. Universal Pictures, dir. by Robert Siodmark, starring Deanna | |Durbin, Gene Kelly | |THE MIXTURE AS BEFORE, 1940 | |UP AT THE VILLA, 1941 – Huvila kukkulalla (suom.Mario Talaskivi, 1959) – film: 2000, dir. by Philip Haas, | |starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Sean Penn | |STRICTLY PERSONAL, 1941 | |THE HOUR BEFORE THE DAWN, 1942 – film 1944, prod.
Paramount Pictures, dir.Frank Tuttle, starring Franchot | |Tone, Veronica Lake | |THE RAZOR’S EDGE, 1944 – Veitsen teralla (suom. Helvi Vasara, 1947) – films: 1946, dir. by Edmund Goulding, | |starring Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, John Payne, Anne Baxter; 1984, dir. by John Byrum, starring Bill Murray,| |Theresa Russell and Denholm Elliott | |THEN AND NOW, 1946 – Eika mikaan muutu (suom.
Martta Eskelinen, 1955) | |CREATURES OF CIRCUMSTANCES, 1947 – Olosuhteiden oikkuja (suom. Aarre Nenonen, 1956) | |CATALINA, 1948 – Catalina (suom. Aarre Nenonen, 1954) | |A WRITER’S NOTEBOOK, 1949 | |THE COMPLETE SHORT STORIES, 1951 |THE VAGRANT MOOD, 1952 | |SELECTED NOVELS, 1953 | |TEN NOVELS AND THEIR AUTHORS, 1954 | |FAR AND WIDE, 1955 | |BEST SHORT STORIES, 1957 | |POINTS OF VIEW, 1958 | |LOOKING BACK, 1962 | |SELECTED PREFACES AND INTRODUCTIONS, 1963 | |SEVENTEEN LOST STORIES, 1969 | |A TRAVELLER IN ROMANCE, 1984 | William Somerset Maugham on Writing Without Frills I had so much to say that I could afford to waste no words” By Richard Nordquist, About.
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writersweek. ie William Somerset Maugham, author of the novels Of Human Bondage (1915) and Cakes and Ale (1930), spent five years studying medicine and served in World War I as both an ambulance driver and a British spy. Yet during all this time he recognized that his one compelling ambition was to be a writer. “I have never quite got over my astonishment at being a writer,” he observed years later in The Summing Up (1938). “There seems no reason for my having become one except an irresistible inclination. “But as Maugham discovered, it takes more than desire to become a good writer. When he tried practicing the writer’s craft by imitating the prose of Jonathan Swift and John Dryden, the results were discouraging. “I did not write well,” he said of his early attempts.
“I wrote stiffly and self-consciously. ” His breakthrough came only when he was able to accept his inadequacies as a writer. Once he had done that, Maugham observed, he could focus on cultivating his strengths: I put aside all thought of fine writing. I wanted to write without any frills of language, in as bare and unaffected a manner as I could. I had so much to say that I could afford to waste no words. I wanted merely to set down the facts.I began with the impossible aim of using no adjectives at all.
I thought that if you could find the exact term a qualifying epithet could be dispensed with. As I saw it in my mind’s eye my book would have the appearance of an immensely long telegram in which for economy’s sake you had left out every word that was not necessary to make the sense clear. . . .
I discovered my limitations and it seemed to me that the only sensible thing was to aim at what excellence I could within them. I knew that I had no lyrical quality, I had a small vocabulary and no efforts that I could make to enlarge it much, availed me. I had little gift of metaphor; the original and striking simile seldom occurred to me.Poetic flights and the great imaginative sweep were beyond my powers. I could admire them in others as I could admire their far-fetched tropes and the unusual but suggestive language in which they clothed their thoughts, but my own invention never presented me with such embellishments; and I was tired of trying to do what did not come easily to me. On the other hand, I had an acute power of observation and it seemed to me that I could see a great many things that other people missed. I could put down in clear terms what I saw.
I had a logical sense, and if no great feeling for the richness and strangeness of words, at all events a lively appreciation of their sounds.I knew that I should never write as well as I could wish, but I thought with pains I could arrive at writing as well as my natural defects allowed. On taking thought it seemed to me that I must aim at lucidity, simplicity and euphony. I have put these three qualities in the order of the importance I assigned to them. (The Summing Up, Doubleday, 1938) In the end, Maugham understood that he would never be considered a first-rate author (though he did believe that he stood “in the very first row of the second-raters”). His style was plain; his insights were rarely profound. Yet in clear, economical prose, he could accurately describe the small details of the everyday world.
Most people cannot see anything,” he once said, “but I can see what is in front of my nose with extreme clearness; the greatest writers can see through a brick wall. My vision is not so penetrating. ” It’s the rare writer who excels at all aspects of the craft. There are masterful stylists who, at bottom, have remarkably little to say.
And there are vigorous thinkers whose sentences plod along like the lumbering steps of a draft horse. As Maugham has shown, becoming a better writer involves confronting our limitations–identifying those qualities that stubbornly resist all our efforts to improve them. But even more important is the next step: building on our strengths. W. Somerset Maugham From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Jump to: navigation, search |W.Somerset Maugham | |[pic] | |Maugham photographed by Carl Van Vechten in 1934 | |Born |William Somerset Maugham | | |25 January 1874(1874-01-25) | | |UK Embassy, Paris, France | |Died |16 December 1965(1965-12-16) (aged 91) | | |Nice, France | |Occupation |Playwright, novelist, short story writer | |Notable work(s) |Of Human Bondage | | |The Letter | | |Rain | | |The Razor’s Edge | William Somerset Maugham (pronounced /? m?? m/ mawm), CH (25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965) was an English playwright, novelist and short story writer. He was among the most popular writers of his era and, reputedly, the highest paid author during the 1930s.  |Contents | |[hide] | |1 Childhood and education | |2 Career | |2. 1 Early works | |2. 2 Popular success, 1914–39 | |2. Grand old man of letters | |3 Achievements | |4 Significant works | |5 Influence | |6 Portraits of Maugham | |7 Bibliography | |8 Film adaptations | |9 References and notes | |10 Sources | |11 External links |  Childhood and education Maugham’s father Robert Ormond Maugham was an English lawyer who handled the legal affairs of the British embassy in Paris, France. 2] Since French law declared that all children born on French soil could be conscripted for military service, his father arranged for Maugham to be born at the embassy, technically on British soil.  His grandfather, another Robert, had also been a prominent lawyer and co-founder of the English Law Society, and it was taken for granted that Maugham would follow in their footsteps. Although Maugham did not become a lawyer, his elder brother Viscount Maugham enjoyed a distinguished legal career and served as Lord Chancellor from 1938 to 1939. Maugham’s mother Edith Mary (nee Snell) was consumptive, a condition for which her doctor prescribed childbirth. 5] As a result, Maugham’s three older brothers were already enrolled in boarding school by the time he was three, and he was effectively raised as an only child. Childbirth proved no cure for tuberculosis: Edith’s sixth and final son died on 25 January 1882, one day after his birth, on Maugham’s eighth birthday. Edith died six days later on 31 January at the age of 41.  The death of his mother left Maugham traumatized for life; subsequently he kept his mother’s photograph by his bedside for the rest of his life.  Two years after Edith’s death, Maugham’s father died of cancer. Maugham was sent back to England to be cared for by his uncle, Henry MacDonald Maugham, the Vicar of Whitstable, in Kent. The move was catastrophic as Henry proved cold and emotionally cruel.The King’s School, Canterbury, where Maugham was a boarder during school terms, proved merely another version of purgatory, where he was teased for his bad English (French had been his first language) and his short stature, which he inherited from his father. It was at this time that Maugham developed the stammer that would stay with him all his life, although it was sporadic and subject to mood and circumstance.  Ma